. . . Navy has handed over . . . much of its workload to the Military Sealift Command over the past 65 years, freeing up sailors to man destroyers, aircraft carriers and other warships.As the article notes, there are lots of issues that may need to be resolved as this process expands.
“I see the ‘M’ in military Sealift Command growing,” Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, commander of MSC, said in a recent interview. “And when I say the ‘M,’ I don’t mean doubling the number of active-duty naval officers on our staff. I see the type of work we are involved in growing in that military element.”
The nature of recent U.S. operations has also played to MSC’s strengths. While international law prohibits auxiliary from participating in conflict with state forces, and MSC ships aren’t designed for warfare, the Pentagon has tapped civilian-crewed vessels for missions related to counterterrorism or piracy. The USNS GySgt. Fred W. Stockham, a roll-on, roll-off pre-positioning vessel, has anchored off the Philippines as part of a special operations task force. The USNS Lewis and Clark held captured Somali pirates on board in 2009.
USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Phil Beaufort
Read the whole thing.
We had a discussion regarding a "MSC/USN dual crewed" ship with Captain Jon Rogers on "Midrats Episode 222:
Current Military Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Midrats on BlogTalkRadio
Hat tip to Lee.